Locked Out Lily


Lily must leave Granny Squeak’s home in the middle of the night. Not only has she left Willo behind, but there’s a note written by Mum on the kitchen table, that Lily needs. Although the journey is secretive and in the nighttime, Lily has a big key. Then again, the journey is not distant. However what she discovers when she returns, is nothing that she could ever imagine.

Not only are four creatures expecting her, but within her home are her parents and the new baby. Yet while these people might resemble her parents, they are black-eyed facsimiles, determined to keep her out. It seems they will do anything to bar and extricate her so that her life is at risk. However, Lily’s lived with hospitals and illnesses for so long, that she feels angry and empty. These feelings burn her so that she she’s told her parents she does not want the new baby. Then again, she is fed up with doctors who pump her full of drugs and then take her blood. What does Lily have left? Then again, what do these four creatures, Mouse, Crow, Mole and Snake, mean? What is it about horseshoes, a well and then iron? How on earth can she get into her house, discover the note and rid her home of these strange quasi parents? Thereafter, what of her real parents, in a hospital, bringing a new brother or sister into the world?

Locked Out Lily is an empathetic, stirring, scary allegory of grief and fear and strength. Alongside stirring storytelling from Nick Lake, we revel in Emily Gravett’s empathetic, haunting pictures. Bookwagon recommends Locked Out Lily for reading at home, and school.

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Locked Out Lily

Nick Lake, illustrated by Emily Gravett

(Simon & Schuster)- hardback

Locked Out Lily is weary of hospitals. It seems there is always one doctor or another pushing something in or out of her. Then again, she’s weary of thoughts of the new baby. It wasn’t her idea and she will not welcome his or her. Thereafter, she’s had enough of Grandma Squeak and her assumptions of what Lily likes to eat. It seems Lily’s expected to stay with her as the new baby arrives. Yet Lily has other ideas. Not only has she left Willo behind in the house, but there’s a note that Mum left. Somehow, all of the anger and anguish that are erupting within Lily spur her to journey through night to reach home.
However, there are strange people within her home. It seems Lily’s parents are not her parents but black eyed shadowy people who refuse her entry. What’s more, they’re carrying an odd baby. Then again, it seems that any help there may be comes from Mole, Mouse, Crow and Snake who seem to have been expecting her. What’s more, they urge Lily’s efforts forward, so that despite her sickness she pushes up and under, in and through, desperate to get in. What does this all mean?
Nick Lake’s allegorical story is scary and captivating. It means that we’re traveling with Lily, urging her to face her fears, feel the iron within her, face up to the challenges of this emptiness she faces. Then again, we’ve a feeling there’s more going on than this strange, surreal, gaslighting blockade. Somehow, there are similarities toward the classic A Monster Calls. Thereafter, like that book, where the illustrations grew into the story, in this title, the pictures of Emily Gravett are empathetic, stirring, secretive and rich. Altogether, Locked Out Lily is an outstanding book that Bookwagon recommends for sharing at home, and school.


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